As a dog owner, one of the most important decisions you'll make is how to keep your furry friend safe and secure during walks and adventures. While traditional dog collars have been the go-to choice for many, dog harnesses are quickly becoming a popular alternative. But why is that? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the benefits of using a dog harness and why it might be the perfect choice for your canine companion.
Better Control Over Your Dog
Whether you're the proud parent of a sprightly Springer Spaniel or a boisterous Boxer, maintaining control during walks is crucial. This is where a dog harness shines. A dog harness wraps around your dog's body, providing you with control over their entire body rather than just their neck. This is especially useful for larger or more energetic dogs who might have a habit of pulling on the leash or getting overly excited in new environments.
Harnesses like our Ruffwear Front Range Harness offer four points of adjustment for a perfect fit and a front connection point to aid no-pull training, giving you better control over your dog during walks. A Harness can be particularly beneficial in busy areas or when encountering other dogs, as it allows you to guide your dog more effectively and prevent them from lunging or running off.
Prevention of Neck and Spine Injuries
One of the main benefits of a dog harness is the reduced risk of neck and spine injuries. Unlike a collar, which places all the pressure on your dog's neck, a harness distributes the force of the leash across your dog's chest. This can help prevent injuries, especially in smaller dogs or breeds with delicate throats.
Moreover, for dogs that already have neck or spine issues, such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Wobbler Syndrome, or arthritis, a harness can be a much safer and more comfortable option. By distributing the pressure more evenly, a harness can help to alleviate discomfort and prevent further injury.
Harnesses like the Hurtta Weekend Warrior Harness are designed with your dog's comfort and safety in mind. Its design ensures that when the dog pulls on the leash, the pressure is evenly distributed across the chest. This can help to prevent injuries associated with pulling, such as collapsed trachea or neck sprains, and can also be more comfortable for your dog, especially during longer walks or hikes.
Prevention of Escape
If you've ever experienced that heart-stopping moment when your dog slips out of their collar, you'll appreciate the security a harness provides. Harnesses are designed to fit snugly around your dog's body, making it much more difficult for them to wriggle free. This is particularly beneficial for dogs that are adept escape artists or those that get spooked easily.
The Ruffwear Web Master Harness, affectionately known as the "Houdini" harness, is a sturdy and reliable option that ensures your dog stays secure on all your adventures together. Its design includes five points of adjustment, allowing you to customize the fit for your dog's unique body shape. A second rear strap is the key to its escape-proof design. As your dog attempts to back away from you, a common escape tactic, the harness moves with them. This keeps the harness snug and prevents your dog from backing out of it, offering an additional level of security for dogs that are prone to escaping.
Safety in the Car
When it comes to keeping your dog safe, it's not just about walks and outdoor adventures. Safety in the car is equally important. Just as humans need to buckle up, dogs also need to be properly restrained during car rides. Not only does this keep your dog safe, but it's also a legal requirement in many places.
One of the best ways to ensure your dog's safety in the car is by using a crash-tested dog harness, such as the EzyDog Drive Harness. This harness is specifically designed for travel, with all the features needed to keep your dog secure and comfortable during car rides. It has been rigorously tested to meet and exceed the standards, which are typically used to measure the effectiveness of child safety products.
In addition to a crash-tested harness, a seatbelt attachment is another essential tool for car safety. These attachments connect your dog's harness to the car's seatbelt system, helping to restrain your dog in the car. This prevents your dog from moving around too much during the ride, which can be a distraction for the driver. It also helps to protect your dog in case of a sudden stop or accident.
Remember, the goal is not just to restrain your dog, but to do so in a way that is comfortable and safe for them. Always ensure that the harness and seatbelt attachment you use are the right size for your dog and are properly adjusted. Never attach a seatbelt to a dog's collar, as this can cause serious injury in the event of a crash.
When it comes to keeping your dog safe, visibility is key, especially during those early morning or late evening walks. Many dog harnesses are designed with reflective materials or are available in bright colours to ensure your dog can be easily seen. This is not only beneficial for you but also for others, such as cyclists or drivers, who may cross paths with you and your dog.
The Ruffwear Hi & Light Harness is a lightweight, low-profile adventure harness. Its bright colour and reflective trim make it perfect for keeping your dog visible in low-light conditions. This can be particularly important in winter months when daylight hours are shorter, or for those early morning or late evening walks when visibility is reduced. The addition of a light loop on some harnesses offers that extra brightness by allowing you to attach a dog light to the top of the harness. Maximum visibility from a flashing light will ensure your dog is seen in the dark.
Assistance with Training
Harnesses can be a valuable tool when it comes to training your dog. Some harnesses are designed to discourage pulling, making them a great option for teaching your dog good leash manners. Others can help deter jumping up, a common issue many dog owners face.
The Hurtta Venture No-Pull Harness, is an excellent tool for training. Its design includes a front attachment point that, when your dog pulls, steers them towards you. This helps your dog understand that pulling isn't the most effective way to move forward.
Choosing a dog harness can offer numerous benefits for both you and your dog, from improved control and safety to enhanced comfort and visibility. By understanding these benefits and considering your dog's specific needs, you can find the perfect harness for your furry friend.
At K9 Active, we offer a wide range of dog harnesses suitable for all breeds, sizes, and activities. Explore our collection here and find the perfect harness for your dog today!